halton police cameras

Police implement big brother-style side-cameras to catch distracted drivers

Halton Regional Police announced they are installing side-cameras on their vehicles to capture footage of distracted drivers.

The goal of implementing this technology is to catch anyone who is using a hand-held device while driving and “take evidentiary footage of the incident as it happens,” Halton Police Supt. Derek Davis said in a promotional video.

Since January 2019, over 1,000 distracted driving charges have been laid in Halton, according to a press release issued yesterday.

In the promo video, a police officer described these cameras as essentially “another eye.” She said this will be a “game changer.”

The penalty for a first-conviction distracted driver in Ontario is up to $1,000, three demerit points and a three-day license suspension. A second offence is double the ticket, more demerit points and week-long suspension. A third conviction is triple the fine — up to $3,000, plus a month's suspension and more demerit points.

The side-cameras can also live stream from a bird’s eye view as events are unfolding.

The police say these cameras are for the “purposes of law enforcement and to promote public safety, while balancing the public's right to privacy.”

But, some people believe capturing footage of a person in their private vehicle is steering too close to “big brother” surveillance.

Those who have privacy concerns are asking, where will this footage be stored? Will third parties have access to it? How will the videos be dispensed?

As always, the grey area between public safety and privacy is vast, and these side-cameras fall right into this ambiguous middle ground.

Lead photo by

Halton Police


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